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 Supreme Court could get involved in James Holmes trial

Aurora Movie Theater Shooting

#TheaterShooting Aurora Colorado Movie Theater Shooting Full Coverage News

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1 month ago

Supreme Court could get involved in James Holmes trial

DENVER (AP) - Lawyers for the man charged with killing 12 people in a Colorado theater are asking the Supreme Court to require a Fox News reporter to identify her sources for a story about the defendant.

Attorneys said Monday they asked the Supreme Court to review a New York state court ruling that Colorado cannot force New York-based reporter Jana Winter to reveal who spoke to her for a story about defendant James Holmes.

Winter reported after the July 2012 massacre that Holmes sent his psychiatrist a notebook containing violent images. Holmes' lawyers said that violated the judge's gag order.

A Colorado court issued a subpoena that could require Winter to reveal her sources, but New York's highest court refused to enforce it, saying Winter was protected by that state's shield law.

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1 year ago

Sources: Suspect James Holmes attempts suicide

CENTENNIAL - Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes was hospitalized after trying to harm himself inside his cell Tuesday according to our partners at 9News.

9News reports that sources told them Holmes made three attempts at harming himself but described them as "unaggressive."

On the first attempt he stood on his bed and fell backwards, trying to hit his head. In the second attempt he ran across his cell to hit his head. In the third attempt he tried hitting his head against a wall.

After the three incidents, Holmes was transported to the hospital with unknown injuries. He was back in his cell Wednesday.

Defense lawyers say Holmes' condition prevented him from attending a court hearing scheduled for Thursday.

The defense asked the judge to postpone the hearing, which was scheduled to discuss pretrial motions and media requests for information under state open records laws.

The 24-year-old Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and injuring at least 58 by opening fire in a crowded theater on July 20. He's being held without bail and hasn't entered a plea.

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1 year ago

Families of the dead in Aurora shooting to receive about $200,000 each

DENVER (AP) - A mediator says the families the 12 people killed and people who suffered permanent injuries will get most of the $5 million donated to help the victims of the July 20 shooting at an Aurora movie theater.

Kenneth Feinberg said Monday those victims will get 70 percent of the money, or about $200,000 each, based on current donations.

The rest will go to people who suffered physical injuries, based on the number of days they were hospitalized.

There were 58 people wounded in the attack.

Feinberg said due to limited funds, victims who did not require overnight hospitalization and claims for mental trauma will not be compensated.

Former University of Colorado-Denver graduate student James Holmes is charged with launching the attack during a Batman movie.

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1 year ago

Defense wants more time in Colorado shooting case

CENTENNIAL, Colorado (AP) - A hearing to decide if the man accused of opening fire on a Colorado movie theater should stand trial might not be held until January.

A lawyer for James Holmes told a judge Thursday that the defense must review nearly 19,000 pages of evidence received so far to prepare for it.

Prosecutors say they could be ready for a hearing next month. But they want to consult with victims and their families before agreeing to delay the preliminary hearing, where the evidence against Holmes will be presented.

Judge William Sylvester says he'll decide the matter later this month.

Meanwhile, a lawyer for victims argued against the media's request to unseal more information. She said victims have been harassed and a university psychiatrist Holmes was seeing can no longer live in her house because she doesn't feel safe.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

1 year ago

Aurora Theater Shooting victims asking for new review

DENVER (AP) - Eleven families of people killed in the shootings at an Aurora movie theater are asking state officials to investigate a charity that has collected $5.2 million for victims.

They contend Community First Foundation and its affiliate Giving First broke state law by failing to get their permission before using victims' photographs online to encourage donations.

They say the foundation also implied contributions would go to victims' families, but Giving First has said about $100,000 went to nonprofit groups. A foundation representative didn't immediately return a message seeking comment Tuesday.

The families of the 12 people killed and 58 injured in the July 20 attack have each received $5,000 so far. Following families' complaints, a mediator agreed to oversee future distributions.

The attorney general's office says it's reviewing the families' letter.

1 year ago

Relief fund expert to meet with victims of Aurora shooting next week

The special master for the Aurora Victim Relief Fund will meet with victims and their families on Oct. 11 and 12 in Aurora.

Ken Feinberg will use the meetings next week to gather input about the appropriate protocols to disperse funds to victims and their families. He will also consider the large amount of feedback already collected from three victim meetings and a victim survey conducted by the 7/20 Recovery Committee.

Victims and their families have been invited to attend one of two group meetings with Feinberg at the Aurora Public Library, 14949 E. Alameda Parkway in Aurora. The first meeting will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11; the second meeting will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 12. Both meetings will be open to the public.

If they choose to do so, victims and their families will be able to request a private, one-on-one meeting with Feinberg between Nov. 1 and Nov. 9. Those meetings will not be open to the public.

Feinberg will make final payment determinations and money will be dispersed as soon as possible after Nov. 15. An independent audit of the fund will commence immediately after the final distribution.

Feinberg agreed to serve as special master of the Aurora Victim Relief Fund at the request of Gov. John Hickenlooper, Community First Foundation and the 7/20 Recovery Committee. He is a nationally-recognized expert in handling relief funds created after other various tragedies and disasters and is best known for serving as the Special Master of the Federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001.

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1 year ago

Funeral plans for youngest theater shooting victim

DENVER (AP) - Nearly two months after the Colorado theater shooting, funeral arrangements are being made for the youngest person killed in the attack.

Six-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan was among 12 people killed in the July 20 shooting. Her mother, Ashley Moser, was wounded. She is paralyzed and also miscarried after the shooting.

An update from the family Wednesday didn't release any details about when the funeral would be held but they promised to provide an update on whether it would be open to the media.

Ashley Moser remains in a rehabilitation center. Her family said that "her lifetime of care will be a long road" and that an account to accept donations has been set up at Wells Fargo Bank.

They thanked those who have been sending well-wishes and offering prayers and good thoughts.

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1 year ago

Hospital discharges final Aurora Theather Shooting victim

AURORA, Colo. (AP) - University of Colorado Hospital says it has discharged its last patient injured during the Colorado movie theater shooting July 20.

The hospital says Caleb Medley was discharged Wednesday and will be going to a long-term care facility.

The aspiring comedian was among the 58 people injured in the attack that also killed 12 others as a gunman opened fire at a midnight showing of the new Batman movie. Medley suffered a head wound in the shootings and has undergone multiple surgeries.

His wife, Katie, gave birth to the couple's first child, Hugo, days after the attack.

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1 year ago

James Holmes "left a good impression" on university

DENVER (AP) - The Colorado theater shooting suspect left a good impression on people he met in his pursuit of a neuroscience career, with a reference describing him as having a "great amount of intellectual and emotional maturity."

That account comes in a recommendation letter sent to the University of Illinois Neuroscience program as part of James Holmes' application to the school last year. The names of those who wrote the references letters were blacked out.

The letter and all the university's documents related to Holmes were provided to The Associated Press Friday after an open records request. The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill., first obtained the documents.

Holmes declined to attend the highly selective program, and instead attended the University of Colorado, Denver, studying neuroscience until he dropped out in June.

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1 year ago

Letter of recommendation calls James Holmes intellectual and emotionally mature

DENVER (AP) - The Colorado theater shooting suspect left a good impression with people he came into contact in his pursuit of a neuroscience career, with one person describing as having a "great amount of intellectual and emotional maturity."

That description comes in recommendation letter sent to the University of Illinois Neuroscience program as part of James Holmes' application to the school last year. The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill., posted a story on its website based on documents obtained as part of an open records request.

Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58. His attorneys claim he's mentally ill.

Holmes declined to attend the highly selective program. He did not give a reason. The names of those writing recommendation letters on Holmes' behalf were not released by the school.

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1 year ago

Fundraiser set for Saturday for Aurora shooting victim

A fundraiser is set for Saturday at 8 p.m. in Pueblo for Aurora Shooting victim Caleb Medley and his family. Steep City Stand Up comedians and the Impossible Players are teaming up to perform at the Impossible Playhouse on Main street. Click here for more information.

The money will go to help Medley, who is an aspiring comedian, his wife and newborn son. Medley and his wife are from Florence and had moved to the Denver area recently. He remains in a medically induced coma as he recovers from his injuries.

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1 year ago

AP: Holmes appeared unemotional at theater shooting hearing

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) - The man charged with killing 12 people and injuring 58 others in a Colorado movie theater was unemotional as he heard the charges against him.

At times, it appeared James Holmes was trying to focus his eyes.

When the judge asked if he approved of a delay in the bail hearing to November, he reacted as if his thoughts were disturbed. Holmes leaned to his lawyer, appeared to mouth "OK," then responded "yeah" to the judge.

Before the hearing, several people in the courtroom clasped their hands and bowed their heads as if in prayer. One unidentified man glared at Holmes throughout the hearing.

Among the victims attending the hearing was Rita Paulina, who arrived in a wheelchair. Another woman with a bandaged arm was among several wearing Batman T-shirts.

Courtroom sketch provided by Jeff Kandyba

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1 year ago

James Holmes charged with 24 counts of murder

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) - Colorado prosecutors have formally charged a former doctorate student with 24 counts of murder in the shooting at an Aurora movie theater.

Twenty-four-year-old James Holmes appeared Monday and was also formally charged with 116 counts of attempted murder.

Twelve people were killed and 58 people were wounded or injured. The breakdown of the charges was not immediately clear.

He's also charged with a one count of possession of explosives. Authorities say he booby trapped his apartment.

Holmes was arrested early July 20 outside a Century 16 theater in Aurora during a midnight showing of the new Batman movie.

Legal analysts expect his court the case to be dominated by arguments over his sanity.

Holmes was a student at the University of Colorado Denver before withdrawing last month.

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1 year ago

DA appoints advocate for Aurora shooting victims

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) - The former legal director of the Rocky Mountain Victim Law Center has been appointed to enforce the rights of victims in the Aurora theater shooting case.

The 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office announced Monday that Lisa Teesch-Maguire has been named the case's victims' rights specialist and advocate.

In a statement, DA Carol Chambers said that the office wants the very best for victims. She said that Teesch-Maquire has spent the last 1 ½ years enforcing the Colorado Victims' Rights Act in courts across Colorado.

Teesh-Maquire formerly served as the chief assistant attorney general in American Samoa and also worked as a prosecutor for Chambers.

She holds a law degree and an M.B.A. from the University of Colorado.

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1 year ago

Holmes to appear in court this morning

DENVER (AP) - Former University of Colorado Denver grad student James Holmes will learn the charges against him when he appears in court this morning.

Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58 others at the Batman movie premiere in Aurora, Colo.

The charges are expected to include a dozen first-degree murder counts.

Holmes is not expected to enter a plea and legal analysts believe the case will be dominated by arguments over his sanity.

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1 year ago

Formal charges expected to be filed against alleged theater shooting

DENVER (AP) - Colorado prosecutors are expected to file formal charges against James Eagan Holmes, the former neuroscience student accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58 others at an Aurora movie theater.

Attorneys will also argue at Monday morning's hearing over a defense motion to find out who leaked information to the news media.

The information included details about a package the 24-year-old former neuroscience graduate student allegedly sent to his psychiatrist at the University of Colorado Denver.

Legal analysts expect the case will be dominated by arguments over the defendant's sanity.

Holmes allegedly began stockpiling gear for his assault four months ago, well before the shooting spree just after midnight during a showing of the Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises." He was arrested by police outside the theater.

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1 year ago

Aurora theater lacked security, unlike some peers

DENVER (AP) - The Colorado movie theater complex that was the scene of a gunman's massacre didn't have any uniformed security guards on duty the night of the shooting, even though other theaters operated by the same company did provide such protection for the busy opening night of the Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises."

It's impossible to know whether guards - often off-duty police officers - at the Aurora Century 16 would have spotted the suspected gunman, James Holmes, and thwarted the attack that left 12 moviegoers dead and dozens wounded on July 20. Cinemark provided off-duty police guards at the Aurora theater on busy Friday and Saturday nights.

As for other nights, theater operators decide on a case-by-case basis whether to hire security, depending on the likelihood of trouble.

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1 year ago

Aurora theater lacked security, unlike some peers

DENVER (AP) - The Colorado movie theater complex that was the scene of a gunman's massacre didn't have any uniformed security guards on duty the night of the shooting, even though other theaters operated by the same company did provide such protection for the busy opening night of the Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises."

It's impossible to know whether guards - often off-duty police officers - at the Aurora Century 16 would have spotted the suspected gunman, James Holmes, and thwarted the attack that left 12 moviegoers dead and dozens wounded on July 20. Cinemark provided off-duty police guards at the Aurora theater on busy Friday and Saturday nights.

As for other nights, theater operators decide on a case-by-case basis whether to hire security, depending on the likelihood of trouble.

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1 year ago

Miscarriage won't affect charges in Colo. movie theater shooting

DENVER (AP) - A former prosecutor says the man accused of shooting and killing 12 people and wounding 58 others at a Colorado theater won't face an additional homicide charge after one of the victims who was critically injured suffered a miscarriage.

Defense attorney Karen Steinhauser, a former prosecutor and current adjunct professor at the University of Denver, says homicide charges in Colorado only apply to those "who had been born and alive."

The family of Ashley Moser, who was critically wounded in the July 20 shooting in Aurora, said in a statement Saturday she is recovering from surgery but the trauma caused the miscarriage. Moser suffered gunshot wounds to her neck and abdomen.

Her daughter, 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan, was the youngest person killed in the attack.

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1 year ago

Theater massacre: Flags return to full-staff Sunday

DENVER (AP) - Gov. John Hickenlooper has ordered that flags be returned to full-staff beginning Sunday, a little more than a week after a gunman killed 12 people and injured 58 at an Aurora movie theater.

The governor ordered that flags be lowered to half-staff until further notice after the July 20 massacre.

The Denver Post reports flags will be lowered to half-staff Aug. 3 for 26-year-old shooting victim Jon Blunk's funeral in Reno, Nev., and again when 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan's funeral is scheduled.

Veronica was the youngest of the victims killed in the attack.

Hickenlooper's order affects public buildings across the state.

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1 year ago

More Aurora victims laid to rest

AURORA, Colo. (AP) - Colorado's governor and police officers were among more than 1,000 people who gathered to remember a recent high school graduate who died in the theater shootings in Aurora.

Gov. John Hickenlooper and Aurora police officers attended the funeral for Alexander "A.J." Boik, who was to start attending the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design.

A private memorial also was held late Friday for former Air Force linguist Rebecca Wingo, followed by a celebratory public gathering at the Denver bar where she went every week.

Friends say Wingo balanced work, school and raising her two daughters.

Meanwhile, Gordon Cowden was being buried in Austin, Texas. A memorial service was held for him Wednesday in Denver.

A memorial fund has been established for his four children at Chase Bank.

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1 year ago

"Dark Knight Rises" composer makes song for Aurora victims

NEW YORK (AP) - "The Dark Knight Rises" composer Hans Zimmer has composed a song dedicated to the Aurora, Colo., shooting victims.

Zimmer posted the track "Aurora" on his Facebook page Friday. Zimmer said he recorded the song in London in the days after the theater shooting last week. All proceeds are being donated to a fund for victims of the shooting that killed 12 people.

The 8½-minute song is being sold for donations from 10 cents to $2,500.

Zimmer has scored all three films in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy.

To get to Zimmer's Facebook page, click here.

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1 year ago

Funeral for Texas born Aurora Theater Shooting victim held today

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Funeral is scheduled for Friday in Austin for a Texas-born father killed in the massacre at a Colorado movie theater showing the new Batman movie.

The funeral for Gordon Cowden will be held at Riverbend Church in Austin with burial in Austin Memorial Park. The 51-year-old businessman already has been mourned in Colorado in the first memorial service for a victim of the shootings.

Cowden had taken his two teenage children to the midnight showing when gunfire erupted.

The teens weren't wounded. Cowden was the oldest of the 12 people killed in the massacre at the "Dark Knight Rises." James Holmes is accused of the shooting that also wounded 58. He's due to be formally charged at a court hearing scheduled Monday in Colorado.

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1 year ago

Congress honors victims of Colorado massacre

WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress has adopted a resolution honoring the Colorado theater shooting victims and the first responders in Aurora.

The House and Senate, on a voice vote Thursday, passed a resolution that recognizes individuals in the theater who selflessly sought to aid and protect others.

The resolution offered condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of the 12 who died. It expressed hope for the rapid and complete recovery of the wounded.

The House also applauded the hundreds of local, state and federal officials who offered support and honored the city of Aurora and the state of Colorado for their resilience in the face of adversity.

58 people were wounded in the shooting.

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1 year ago

Five from Aurora shooting remain in critical condition

DENVER (AP) - Five people who were wounded in the Colorado movie theater shootings remain in critical condition.

University of Colorado Hospital said Thursday it had four patients in critical condition. The Medical Center of Aurora had one critically injured patient as of Wednesday. Hospital officials didn't immediately respond to calls Thursday seeking an update.

Twelve people were killed and 58 were injured in the July 20 shootings. Eleven of the injured were listed in critical condition shortly after the shooting.

Suspect James Holmes is being held without bail on suspicion of first-degree murder. Police say he opened fire at an Aurora theater during a midnight showing of the latest Batman movie.

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1 year ago

Rev. Jackson to meet with family of Aurora shooting victim

AURORA, Colo. (AP) - The Rev. Jesse Jackson is planning to meet with the family of one of the victims of last week's theater shooting.

Jackson also plans to discuss gun control during his visit to Aurora on Thursday.

Pastor Thomas Mayes of Living Water Christian Center Church in Aurora says Jackson also plans to hold a news conference near the apartment of James Holmes, the suspect in Friday's shootings that left 12 people dead and 58 injured.

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1 year ago

Aurora survivor forgives alleged gunman

DENVER (AP) - A survivor of the deadly shootings at a Colorado movie theater says he has forgiven the alleged gunman.

Denver Rescue Mission employee Pierce O'Farrill was shot three times in the attack Friday at an Aurora theater showing the new Batman movie. He was released from the hospital Wednesday.

James Eagan Holmes is accused of launching the attack that killed 12 people and injured 58.

O'Farrill tells The Denver Post that when he saw images of Holmes at his first court appearance Monday, he felt sorrow for Holmes.

O'Farrill says he wants to tell Holmes he forgives him and ask if he can pray for him.

Formal criminal charges haven't been filed against Holmes yet.

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1 year ago

Aurora shooting sparks gun debate

WASHINGTON (AP) - The politics of guns leapt to the top of the presidential race with President Barack Obama embracing some degree of control of weapons sales and Republican Mitt Romney seeming to suggest an alleged mass killer in Colorado had obtained his weapons illegally - even though he hadn't.

Speaking Wednesday night to a mostly black audience in New Orleans, Obama said he would seek a consensus on combating violence. He said some responsibility also rests with parents, neighbors and teachers to ensure that young people "do not have that void inside them."

Romney told NBC News that many of the weapons deployed by the shooting suspect in the Colorado theater massacre were possessed illegally and that changing laws wouldn't prevent gun-related tragedies. Authorities say the firearms were obtained legally.

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1 year ago

Families worry about medical bills for Aurora survivors

DENVER (AP) - Some of the victims fighting for their lives after being wounded in the movie-theater shooting rampage may face another challenge when they get out of the hospital: enormous medical bills without the benefit of health insurance.

Members of the public, along with Warner Bros., the studio that released the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises," have contributed nearly $2 million to help victims, though it's not clear how much of that will cover medical expenses. One family is raising money on its own online.

And three of the five hospitals treating victims said Wednesday they will limit or completely wipe out medical bills.

Some of the victims, however, still face a long recovery ahead and the associated medical costs - without health insurance. There's no exact count of how many of them don't have insurance but statistics suggest many of them might not be covered.

Nearly one in three Coloradans, or about 1.5 million, either have no health insurance or have coverage that is inadequate, according to a 2011 report by The Colorado Trust, a health care advocacy group.

The highest uninsured rate was among adults between 18 and 34 and many of those injured in the shootings are in that age group.

State officials said they are not sure whether any of the victims qualify for emergency Medicaid assistance available to needy patients. Victims could also get financial assistance from a state program that helps people hurt during crimes, including lost wages and counseling.

Among the uninsured victims of the movie-theater attack is a 23-year-old aspiring comic, Caleb Medley, who is in critical condition with a head wound and whose wife, Katie, gave birth to their first child, Hugo, on Tuesday.

His family and friends said they have set a goal of raising $500,000 to cover his hospital bills and other expenses and were over halfway there on Wednesday.

"All the money that is donated is going straight to Caleb, Katie and Hugo to help them with medical bills, getting back on their feet, help with the baby items," friend Michael West said. "Anything and everything that they need."

Children's Hospital Colorado announced it would use donations and its charity care fund to cover the medical expenses of the uninsured. For those who do have insurance, the hospital says it will waive all co-pays.

"We are committed to supporting these families as they heal," according to a statement from the hospital, which treated six shooting victims.

HealthOne, which owns the Medical Center of Aurora and Swedish Medical Center, also says it will limit or eliminate charges based on the individual circumstances of the patients. Those hospitals have treated 22 shooting victims. However, the company cautioned its policy may not apply to all doctors working in its hospitals.

The other two hospitals, Denver Health Medical Center and University of Colorado Hospital, where Medley is, wouldn't directly say whether they would assist shooting victims. However, they are the state's top two safety net hospitals and provided combined $750 million in free care in 2011.

Hospitals are required by federal law to stabilize patients during emergencies without regard to their ability to pay.

"The issue most probably facing the hospitals and patients in a situation like Aurora is what comes after 'stabilization,'" said Dr. Howard Brody, director of the Institute for the Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and a frequent critic of excessive medical costs.

"Many of these people I assume will need prolonged and expensive rehabilitation after their immediate injuries are dealt with, and that seems precisely what hospitals today are less and less willing to cover out of their own funds, and no law requires that they do so, as far as I am aware," he said.

Medley is in a medically induced coma, but West said he has been showing signs of improvement, relying less on a ventilator to breathe. Medley's wife, 21-year-old Katie Medley, gave birth on Tuesday, one floor above his room at University of Colorado Hospital.

Standup comedian Gabriel Iglesias, who has appeared on Comedy Central, planned to headline a Denver fundraiser for Medley next week.

The fundraising might actually make Medley ineligible for some income-related assistance. His family and all other victims are already meeting with victim advocates, the case workers who deal with people hurt during crimes. The advocates determine what services they need and what assistance they qualify for.

"We have individuals who will need a lifetime of care, or a lifetime of accommodation, and our job is to make sure those needs are met," said Karla Maraccini, deputy director for community partnerships in the office of Gov. John Hickenlooper.

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1 year ago

Actor Christian Bale visits survivors of theater shooting

AURORA, Colo. (AP) - Batman star Christian Bale is in Colorado visiting survivors of the shooting at a theater showing "The Dark Knight Rises."

Carey Rottman, one of the 58 people injured in Friday's shooting, posted two photos of himself with Bale on his Facebook page after the actor's visit Tuesday. Hospital staff also posted a Facebook photo of Bale with some staff members.

There had been an online campaign urging Bale to visit survivors of the shooting.

Bale also visited a makeshift memorial to the victims near the theater. He walked past the 12 crosses erected for each of the slain victims, with many people there not realizing who he was.

President Barack Obama and members of the Denver Broncos also have made hospital visits to some of the survivors.

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1 year ago

Meet baby Hugo

Caleb Medley is recovering from gun shot wounds he suffered in Friday's Aurora theater shooting, while his wife and newborn son are just one floor up. Caleb was shot in the face and is in a medically induced coma.

Katie wasn't hurt in the shooting and gave birth to their healthy baby boy today. His name is Hugo. The family calls him a bright spot in this tragic situation. Katie and Caleb are both from Florence, Colorado.

Photo Courtesy: University of Colorado Hospital.

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1 year ago

Ex-legislator apologizes for insensitive post on shooting

MESA, Ariz. (AP) - A former Arizona legislator known for sponsoring the state's anti-illegal immigration law is apologizing for comments he made about the Colorado movie theater shooting that some interpreted as an attack on the victims.


Former state Sen. Russell Pearce said Friday on Facebook the shooting was heartbreaking and that lives were lost because nobody acted to stop the shooting that left 12 people dead and dozens wounded.

Pearce apologized on Monday.

His latest Facebook post says he wrote his original post while concerned about the fate of a young woman who was at the theater and that he's since been moved to learn of what he called "great acts of courage" in the theater.

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1 year ago

Batman star Christian Bale visits theater shooting victims

AURORA, Colo. (AP) - Batman star Christian Bale is in Colorado visiting victims of the shooting at a theater showing "The Dark Knight Rises."

A Warner Bros. spokeswoman told The Denver Post on Tuesday that Bale was representing himself, not the movie studio.

Carey Rottman, one of the 58 people injured in Friday's shooting, posted two photos of himself with Bale on his Facebook page.

There's been an online campaign urging Bale to visit the victims of the shooting, which also killed 12 people.

(PHOTO: Christian Bale with shooting victim Carey Rottman that has been circulating on social media)

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1 year ago

Mourners leave messages at shooting memorial

People continue to flock to the memorial to the 12 people killed in the Colorado movie theater shooting.

On Tuesday, visitors included about two dozen people praying in a circle off to the side.

Others left messages on a blank board. They included "Never forgotten, Wisconsin is praying" and "Our true heroes, we love you 303", a reference to the Denver area code.

The memorial also includes 12 white, wooden crosses, one for each person killed in the shooting, erected by the Illinois man who also put up crosses following the Columbine massacre.

The cross in memory of the youngest victim, 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan, has a pile of stuffed animals, flowers and a collection of Little Golden children's books that's almost as tall as the 3½ foot tall cross.

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1 year ago

Gun debate continues following theater shooting

A handful of Democrats are calling for a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips after the movie theater shooting rampage in Colorado, but House and Senate leaders of both parties have no plans to touch the issue this election year.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, along with House Speaker John Boehner, have told reporters Tuesday that there should be no push for tighter gun control. They say the shooting should not be politicized and there's little time left in the polarized Congress to tackle the issue. Still, four Democrats - Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, and Reps. Diana DeGette of Colorado and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of New York say the shooting is only the latest evidence that the clips should be banned.

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1 year ago

Warner Bros. Donates to Colorado Shooting Victim's Fund

DENVER (AP) - The film studio that released the Batman film playing during the Colorado theater shooting is among the donors that have given a total of nearly $2 million to a fund set up for victims.

Warner Bros., which released "The Dark Knight Rises," gave an undisclosed amount to the GivingFirst.org fund. The fund was set up to help victims of the theater attack and their families. A donation also was made by Legendary Pictures.

A Colorado state release said Tuesday the fund had reached nearly $2 million. State officials did not say how much was donated by Warner Bros. or Legendary Pictures, and how much was given by individual donors.

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1 year ago

How can we avert tragedy like the Aurora shootings?

AURORA, Colo. (AP) - On the morning of the latest mass shooting, in a place that has become synonymous with tragedy, Tom Mauser's phone started ringing at 5 a.m. When he turned on the news his first thought was "Oh God," followed by an immediate: "Not again."

He's seen this too often since that April morning in 1999, when his own son Daniel was slain along with 12 others at Columbine High School. In the years that have followed, every time the unthinkable happens yet again - at a Virginia college, a Texas military base, an Arizona strip mall, a Colorado movie theater - Mauser mourns anew.

But he also feels something else, the frustration we all feel when we see the same images we've seen before: Hysterical victims fleeing in terror. Anguished mourners crying out for lost loved ones. Stunned citizens praying together at candlelight vigils.

"There was a time when I felt a certain guilt," said Mauser, a state transportation program manager who became an outspoken activist against such violence after his 15-year-old son was killed. "I'd ask, 'Why can't I do more about this? Why haven't I dedicated myself more to it?' But I'll be damned if I'm going to put it all on my shoulders.

"This," he said, "is all of our problem."

But where to begin solving it? In a nation that likes its quick-fixes and finger-pointing, do we blame the mental health industry, poor parenting, a 24-7 news cycle that brings instant "fame" to mass murderers and sometimes spawns copycats, a culture that glamorizes - and has become desensitized to - violence in its many myriad forms? (Consider the nonstop Internet "zombie" chatter after a Florida man this year had his face nearly chewed off in a bizarre attack.)

And placing blame aside, are there steps we can take to prevent yet another rampage?

Mauser's primary focus has been to advocate for more gun control. The year after Columbine, he helped lead an initiative approved by Colorado voters to require background checks for all firearms buyers at state gun shows.

Still, that didn't prevent accused Aurora shooter James Holmes from acquiring two pistols, a shotgun, an AR-15 rifle and thousands of bullets. Someone intent on killing will find a means. And so Mauser and those who have spent years studying mass murder know that any so-called solutions must go far beyond gun control.

Generally, they say the solution may have less to do with government intervention than individual action. People need to be more aware of troubled individuals who may act violently; they should talk with them, and if they remain alarmed they must reach out for help. And when they do, there must be someone to listen and act effectively.

"The question we have to ask constantly is: What more can we be doing? We may not be able to stop all of them, but I think we could stop more than we do," said Peter Langman, a psychologist who has spent years studying the Columbine massacre and similar incidents at other schools and universities.

In many cases, Langman and others have found, the murderers either left clues as to what might be coming or behaved in a manner that left those around them feeling uneasy but, perhaps, unsure of what to do.

Langman points out that not long before Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris opened fire at Columbine, Klebold's school compositions - including descriptions of a killing - so disturbed a teacher that they were brought to the attention of his parents. But Klebold explained them away as mere fiction, and the shootings happened a short time later.

"Many school shooters have told people exactly what they were going to do, but nobody believed them," said Langman. "Nobody took them seriously."

Jared Loughner, accused in the January 2011 shooting in Tucson, Ariz., that killed six people and wounded former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others, had several run-ins with police while studying at Pima Community College in Tucson.

Some 51 pages of campus police reports described a series of classroom outbursts and confrontations that prompted worried instructors to summon campus officers. He was suspended and later withdrew from school. But even now some still ask whether the college could or should have done more by taking any concerns elsewhere - to mental health professionals, perhaps.

Similar questions have been raised in the case of Holmes, who had recently withdrawn from a competitive graduate program in neuroscience at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Officials there are looking into whether Holmes used his position in the program to collect hazardous materials, but it remained unclear whether Holmes' professors and others in his 35-student Ph.D. program noticed anything unusual about his behavior.

Langman understands the hesitation private citizens and institutions may have about acting on instincts. We're not psychiatrists, after all. What if the person in question has broken no laws? Who am I to say something?

His response: "You can alert people. You can try talking to the person if it's someone you know. Engage them in conversation. See if they're in a state of crisis."

In a post-Sept. 11 world, if we see someone on a subway or an airplane doing something suspicious, we don't hesitate to report it. Why would we waver in these situations?

Perhaps the threat seems less immediate. Perhaps the difference is in reporting the suspicious activity of a stranger rather than someone we know and, possibly, love.

Terry Garahan, who spent years training law officers in Ithaca, N.Y., to better cope with emotionally disturbed suspects, has another take.

"Institutionally, we have become like the people who saw Kitty Genovese stabbed to death," said Garahan, recalling the 1964 stabbing of a woman in New York witnessed by some 38 people who never alerted authorities. "We assume that someone else is going to take care of it, someone else is going to make the call. What we can do is to take a risk."

In the late 1990s, after a patient at a mental health clinic Garahan supervised killed a police officer and was then herself killed on scene, Garahan and Ithaca police teamed up to respond to calls from parents, co-workers, strangers or neighbors about individuals who might do harm to themselves or others.

"At times, they slammed the door in my face. At other times I was threatened. At times they pointed guns at us. But there has to be somebody who is willing to do this, and law enforcement is only equipped to do part of it," he said.

The program continues today. And, certainly, there are numerous other examples of preventative measures that have been put into place in the wake of mass killings.

At the University of Virginia, forensic clinical psychologist Dewey Cornell leads a project that has developed assessment guidelines to help identify threatening individuals that are now used in most public schools in Virginia as well as other communities across the nation, in Canada and in Europe. In the wake of the 2007 rampage at Virginia Tech that left 33 people dead, including the shooter, many colleges and universities established assessment teams. Cornell serves on his at UVA.

In an e-mail, he said: "There is a widespread misperception that rampage shootings cannot be prevented because they seem so random and unpredictable. However, it is possible to prevent outcomes that are hard to predict."

But how do you cover all your bases? After all, these rampages have happened at fast-food restaurants, rural cafeterias, offices, a health club, a nursing home, an Amish school.

"We're not going to turn our country into one big fortress," said James Alan Fox, a professor of criminology at Northeastern University and one of the nation's foremost experts on mass murder. "People hate when I say this but it's true: This kind of tragedy is one of the unfortunate prices we pay for our freedoms."

If there is one saving grace it is to be found in statistics. Fox has collected data on every mass murder in the United States going back to the mid-1970s and, though we certainly see and hear about these incidents more quickly today, the numbers of such incidents have not increased over time. He counted 19 in 1976 and 18 in 2010, with the range going from a low of seven in 1985 to a high of 30 in 2003. The FBI defines a mass murder as one in which four or more people are killed.

In fact, he and others noted, overall homicide rates in the United States have fallen to their lowest levels in decades. And while America still suffers from more violent crimes and murders than most other westernized countries, mass killings occur elsewhere, as well.

Norway just marked the somber one-year anniversary of the twin attacks in downtown Oslo and at a youth camp outside the capital that killed 77. Finland saw two back-to-back mass shootings at schools in 2007 and 2008. Germany, too, has experienced several homicidal attacks at schools, prompting officials there to contact Cornell about his threat assessment techniques.

Fox has studied these killings too much to think there are any hard and fast solutions. Beyond gun control, most Americans will look to the mental health industry for accountability. (In the Aurora shootings, no evidence has surfaced to date to determine if Holmes may have suffered from mental illness.) If better mental health treatment is one result of this latest tragedy, said Fox, "lots of Americans will be better off, but the few at the extreme who commit this kind of crime will not avail themselves of that.

"When people say there were warning signs, they're yellow flags," he added. "Those yellow flags only turn red once the blood has spilled."

In Aurora, as residents gathered Sunday night for a prayer vigil to remember the victims of Friday's shootings, Coloradans were grappling with these very questions, and the knowledge that there may be no real answers.

"You can always come up with ideas, but people who are bound and determined are going to find a way around your ideas. So it's almost a lost cause at some point," said 28-year-old Debra Wahl, who stood gripping a state flag next to her 19-year-old cousin, Leeza Pearson.

"You've just got to hope nothing happens," said Pearson, the soaring neon sign of the movie theater hovering in the horizon beyond her gaze.

1 year ago

Soon-to-be father struggling for life after shooting

One man from the theater that fateful Friday night was Caleb Medley from Florence. A close friend says he's struggling for his life after being shot in the face. His brother tells us Medley went into surgery again today to remove parts of his brain. Meanwhile, his wife Katie is having contractions to welcome their first born baby, Hugo. Katie's father went to court today to get a glimpse of the suspect.
"It's been horrendous," said David Sanchez. "It's been more than anybody should be able to handle. When it's your own daughter, and she escaped from death by just mere seconds, it really makes you angry."
Medley is currently in a medically induced coma. Friends and families expect he will be in ICU for the next couple weeks. Medley and his wife do not have insurance and is welcoming donations on their website. Click here to contribute.

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1 year ago

Dad of Colorado victim stares at suspect in court

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) - The father of one Colorado shooting victim sat staring at suspect James Holmes during his first court appearance.

Tom Teves sat in the front row Monday as a judge advised James Holmes of the allegations against him. His son Alex Teves was killed in the Friday shooting inside a packed movie theater.

Two women held hands tightly, one shaking her head.

Holmes showed little emotion during the hearing, which appeared to anger some family members of victims who attended.

David Sanchez, who waited outside the courthouse during Holmes' hearing, said his pregnant daughter escaped uninjured but her husband was shot in the head and was in critical condition.

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1 year ago

Holmes family attorney to talk to reporters in California

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A lawyer representing family members of the suspect in the Colorado mass shooting plans to hold a news conference Monday in San Diego.

Lisa Damiani plans to meet reporters at 1 p.m. Pacific time.

She's representing the family of 24-year-old James Holmes, who made his first court appearance Monday in a Denver suburb where he's being held without bond.

Authorities say Holmes opened fire on a crowded movie theater Friday at a midnight showing of the new Batman movie. Twelve people were killed and 58 were injured.

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1 year ago

Alleged shooter makes first appearance in court

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) - The Colorado movie theater shooting suspect has shown little emotion as he made his first court appearance with reddish orange hair.

James Holmes was wide-eyed and unshaven as he sat staring down. At one point he closed his eyes as a judge spoke.

He appeared after being accused of the shooting rampage at a Colorado movie theater that killed 12 people and injured 58 others.

The judge says he will be formally charged next Monday.

Authorities say the 24-year-old former graduate student is refusing to cooperate and it could take months to learn what prompted the horrific attack on moviegoers at a midnight screening of the latest Batman film.

Investigators say they found a Batman mask inside Holmes' booby-trapped apartment after the attack.

Holmes has been held in solitary confinement since Friday.

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1 year ago

Dozens attend Colorado Springs vigil for Aurora shooting victims

Dozens of people attended a candlelight vigil in downtown Colorado Springs Sunday night while thousands more gathered in Aurora to pay tribute to those injured and killed in Friday's mass shooting at an Aurora movie theater. The Colorado Springs gathering featured music and guest speakers. One mourner, Veronica Valdez, explained why she participated in the vigil. "One nation, we are together," she said, "no matter what race we are, color, religion, it doesn't matter. We are one. And Colorado, I support to the fullest."

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1 year ago

Aurora police say shooting suspect not cooperating

AURORA, Colo. (AP) - Police in Colorado say the suspect in one of the worst shootings in U.S. history is not cooperating with authorities.

Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates says 24-year-old James Holmes has "lawyered up" and is not talking.

Holmes was arrested Friday after a gunman opened fire during a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises," killing 12 people and injuring 58. He has been appointed a public defender and is scheduled to make an initial court appearance on Monday.

Oates says it could take months to determine a motive and police are working with FBI behavioral analysts.

The police chief says Holmes had more than 50 commercial packages delivered to his home and school address during the past four months.

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1 year ago

CSU-Pueblo declares week of remembrance for Aurora shooting victims

This week has been declared one of remembrance on the campus of CSU-Pueblo for the victims of the Aurora theater shooting.

Several of the Student Government members in Pueblo say they have ties to Aurora.

That's why they wanted to make the declaration.

They're raising awareness and remembering lives with flags at half-staff.

"This is a one time situation, but it could happen anywhere," said Dustin Cox, Student Government Administrative Assistant at CSU-Pueblo. "We just want to raise awareness of how fragile life really is, and how much respect we really need to have for life and everything we're doing."

The declaration was officially signed by the University's student government president.

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1 year ago

Theater shooting flares up gun law debate

The debate on gun control has become a front burner issue, but Democratic and Republican strategists agree Congress will not take up this issue after the mass shooting in Aurora.

Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff echoes Governor Hickenlooper saying it isn't the weapon, it's the person who usually has a sudden change of behavior.

"We've seen that with terrorists who became radicalized in Europe, and we've now seen it of course, in this tragedy. So we need to understand better how we detect the warning signs."

Still others are calling for a ban or stricter regulations on gun possession and use.

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1 year ago

Governor Hickenlooper says Colorado will band together

Governor John Hickenlooper appeared on Meet the Press Sunday morning.

He told David Gregory, regardless of gun laws, sick individuals will find ways to commit evil acts.

He also said that people in Colorado are together in spirit, and will rise above acts of terror.

"My Chief of Staff, her daughter's in her early 20's, and she took a group of about 20 kids to go see Batman last night, just as a political statement. I think that's the sense I'm beginning to get in the hospital rooms, with the families, among the community. We're not going to let this son of a gun win."

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1 year ago

Air Force Staff Sergeant killed in theater shooting

Among the 12 people killed in the tragic shooting were two members of the military.

One of those was Staff Sergeant Jesse Childress.

He was an Air Force Reservist assigned to a squadron at Buckley Air Force Base.

"Jesse was an invaluable part of the 3-10th family. He literally touched everyone in a way, over a thousand people," said Lt. Col. Pat Walsh of the U.S. Air Force.

Sgt. Childress was 29.

Visit our other stories on the second military member killed, Sailor John Larimer.

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1 year ago

Military speaks out about sailor killed in theater shooting

One of the two active military members killed in the theater shooting in Aurora was Petty Officer 3rd Class John Larimer.

Larimer was a Navy technician based at Buckley.

He was 27.

"He was an outstanding shipmate, a valued member of our Navy team and an extremely dedicated sailor," said Commander Jeffrey Jakuboski of the U.S. Navy. "Sailors were really drawn to his calming demeanor and exceptional work ethic."

Those with the military say they'll get through this, it's just really difficult for them right now.

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1 year ago

President Barack Obama to visit victims of the Aurora shooting this afternoon

WASHINGTON (AP) - Once again donning the mantle of consoler-in-chief, President Barack Obama will travel Sunday to Colorado to comfort distraught families of those gunned down in a minute and a half of real-life horror at a midnight movie showing.

While authorities gather evidence on the suspect and the nation tries to fathom what drove the gunman, Obama will meet with loved ones struggling with pain and grief.

"We need to embrace them and let them know we will be there for them as a nation," Obama said Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address.

The president planned just a brief visit to Colorado - a bit under 2 1/2 hours - during which he was also scheduled to meet with local officials in Aurora, where the shots rang out at a multiplex theater early Friday. Twelve of the victims died, 58 were injured.

After the Colorado stop, Obama is flying to San Francisco, where on Monday he'll begin a previously scheduled three-day campaign trip that includes a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nev., multiple fundraisers in California, Oregon and Washington state and a speech to the National Urban League convention in New Orleans.

The shock of Friday's rampage brought the sprawling and sometimes vitriolic presidential campaign to a virtual standstill.

Obama cut short a political trip to Florida to return to Washington. Mitt Romney canceled interviews. Both campaigns pulled ads off the air in Colorado out of respect for the victims.

But with election activities set to resume in the new week, Vice President Joe Biden is speaking to the National Association of Police Organizations in Palm Beach County, Fla., on Monday, and Romney is to address the VFW on Tuesday.

For Obama, the unhappy task of articulating sorrow and loss has become a familiar one.

Indeed, for modern presidents, it's become an accepted facet of the office - and for some, an opportunity for soaring words that rise above the partisan trench warfare of day-to-day governing.

Not 10 months in office, Obama led mourners at a service for victims of the November 2009 Fort Hood shooting, bowing his head before shrines of framed photos and boots belonging to the soldiers among the 13 who perished.

In January of last year, he spoke at a memorial for the six victims killed in Tucson, Ariz., when a gunman attacked Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as she met with constituents.

The following April, when some 300 people were killed in a multi-state outbreak of tornadoes, Obama flew to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to commiserate with residents whose homes were in ruins. A month later, Obama went to Joplin, Mo., after a monster twister claimed 161 lives. This year, he came back on the storm's anniversary to give a commencement speech at Joplin High School.

In between these public observances have been countless private meetings with families of troops who fell in battle in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For Obama, the Colorado visit was to be his second in just over three weeks. Last month, he flew to Colorado Springs to share the pain of homeowners whose houses had been turned to charred heaps by a record outbreak of wildfires.

Obama had already been a frequent Colorado visitor - no surprise given the state's key role in his re-election bid. He won the state by more than 8 percentage points over John McCain four years ago. But neither Obama's nor Romney's camp expects that big a margin this time. Recent polls place Obama's lead inside the margin of error.

But for one more day, at least, electoral considerations remained on the back burner.

"This weekend I hope everyone takes some time for prayer and reflection," Obama said in his Saturday broadcast, "for the victims of this terrible tragedy, for the people who knew them and loved them, for those who are still struggling to recover."

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1 year ago

Shooting suspect gun club membership rejected

AURORA, Colo. (AP) - Aurora shooting suspect James Holmes applied to join a Colorado gun range but never became a member after the owner became concerned over his "bizarre" message and behavior.

Owner Glenn Rotkovich says Holmes emailed an application to join the Lead Valley Range in Byers on June 25 and there were no overt warning signs in that form.

Holmes said he was not a user of illegal drugs or a convicted felon, so Rotkovich followed up by calling Holmes' apartment to invite him to a mandatory orientation the following week.

Rotkovich got Holmes' answering machine and says "it was bizarre - guttural, freakish at best."

Rotkovich left two other messages but eventually told his staff to watch for Holmes at the July 1 orientation and not to accept him into the club.

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1 year ago

Survivor mourns her boyfriend's death after he saved her life

Jansen Young survived the shooting thanks to her boyfriend.

He shielded her body with his, and in doing so, he was killed in the shooting.

"Even though he saved me and he gave me the opportunity to live, he would have done it for anyone that day," said Jansen. "You know, the nearest person sitting next to him, he would have been like, 'This person needs my help now.' That's just who he was, and everybody knew it. He went above and beyond to help everyone. He was an incredible person."

Jansen just moved to Colorado a few days ago to be with her boyfriend who was in the military.

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1 year ago

Youngest victim of shooting identified

A young child is among those who lost their lives in the shooting.

Veronica Moser, 6, was killed.

Her mother, Ashley, 25, is still in the hospital, wounded and paralyzed.

Ashley has yet to hear the news of her daughter's death, as her doctor and her family do not want to put any added stress on her recovery.

"Here a 25-year-old girl gets shot and her whole life, nobody can tell her her daughters dead," said Annie Dalton, Ashley's aunt. "That's all she's asking about right now. Her whole life has changed in a flash, for what?"

Family members adds all they can do now is hope for Ashley's quick recovery.

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1 year ago

Always be honest with your child when bad things happen

In the aftermath of the theater massacre, kids and teens are bound to have some questions about how something so awful could happen at a place meant for fun.

Doctors say you should always be honest with your kids.

Cinda McDonald, a Child Life Expert in Dallas, says not to sugar coat anything with your children, or they will go off and try to fill in the blanks on their own.

"They know they're children best, and they should listen to their gun instinct on how much they should share with their children," said McDonald.

Parents all over the country Saturday either gave their teens warnings to be careful when heading to the theater or just went along with them.

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1 year ago

Police disarm explosive at shooting suspect's apartment

AURORA, Colo. (AP) - Aurora police have disarmed the trip wire and the first explosive device in the apartment of the suspect in a movie theater shooting.

Aurora police Sgt. Cassidee Carlson says the booby trap was set up to kill the person opening the door.

In her words: "This is some serious stuff that our team is dealing with."

Carlson says there are other devices that need to be disarmed but authorities are reassessing the scene.

She says it's still possible that the team has to detonate the explosives, which could cause a loud boom and fire, but people will be told about it.

The suspect, James Holmes, lives in the third-floor apartment.

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1 year ago

Doctor who treated Columbine victims now has theater shooting patients

One of the doctors who treated victims from the theater shooting talked about the experience.

Dr. Chris Colwell also treated victims of the Columbine shooting 13 years ago.

"It certainly did bring back some very difficult memories, and thankfully, again, in a situation like that, we can concentrate on what needs to be done next," said Dr. Colwell of the Denver Health Medical Center. "What our job is, what we have to do, how we can take care of the victims and anybody else that might needs us. It's after it, after everything becomes stabilized, and you leave the hospital and go home, and sit down and try to think about, again, what happened and how to make sense of it. And in many ways, you just can't."

Dr. Colwell adds some victims needed to go to the operating room quickly, while many were treated and released.

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1 year ago

Childhood neighbors mourn loss of Sailor killed in theater shooting

A sailor in the U.S. Navy is among the 12 who died in the theater shooting rampage.

John Larimer, 27, was stationed in Aurora, and he went to the premiere that night.

A Navy notification team arrived at the Illinois home of Larimer's parents late Friday night to inform them their son was killed.

Saturday, flags line the streets of the quiet neighborhood where Larimer grew up.

"As a mother, it breaks my heart," said Julie Gates, a neighbor of Larimer's parents. "I can't imagine, and this family, just especially, they're a nice family."

Many people who live there want to show their support for Larimer's service in the Navy.

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1 year ago

Learning more about those who died

AURORA, Colo. (AP) - Families are being notified by police that their loved ones are among the victims in a deadly shooting rampage in suburban Denver.

Relatives of two of the dead confirmed late Friday that their loved ones were killed when a gunman barged into a crowded theater and began firing during the midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises."

The family of Alex Sullivan issued a statement confirming his death. He died on his 27th birthday.

Twenty-three-year-old Micayla Medek was also among the dead.

Her father's cousin, Anita Busch, says the sad news at least brought peace to the family.

The brother of Jessica Ghawi previously confirmed his sister's death.

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1 year ago

Mass Shooting: Latest information

AURORA, Colo. (AP) - Police in Colorado say they will start meeting with the families of shooting victims to tell them the fate of their loved ones.

Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates says the last of the 10 deceased victims from the midnight showing of a Batman movie was removed from the theater Friday afternoon.

Oates says officers expect to get a confirmed list of the deceased and meet with their families Friday night.

In addition to the 10 people who died at the theater, two others later died from their injuries.

Oates says there are 70 victims but not all were shot. Eleven are in critical condition.

The chief says suspect James Holmes purchased four guns at local gun shops and 6,000 rounds of ammunition through the Internet.

Holmes was in custody Friday.

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1 year ago

Theater shooting suspect not cooperating

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The suspect in a shooting that killed or wounded 71 people early Friday in a suburban Denver movie theater is not talking to investigators, a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation told The Associated Press.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity in discussing the ongoing case. The person also said police found jars of chemicals in James Holmes' booby trapped Aurora apartment with wires nearby.

Those who knew the 24-year-old describe him as a shy, intelligent person raised in California by parents who were active in their well-to-do suburban neighborhood.

Holmes, who was studying neuroscience in a Ph.D. program in Colorado, grew up in San Diego, where his parents still live on a quiet, street of two-story homes with red tile roofs. He played soccer at Westview High School and ran cross country before going to college.

Neighbors say the family belonged to a Presbyterian church and hosted a Christmas party for residents. Many families choose the San Diego neighborhood because it is part of the well-regarded Poway Unified School District, one of the best in California.

On Friday morning, police escorted the suspect's father, a manager of a software company, from their San Diego home. The mother, a nurse, stayed inside, receiving family visitors who came to offer support. The suspect also has a younger sister.

San Diego police spokeswoman Lt. Andra Brown, spoke to reporters in the driveway of the Holmes' home, on behalf of the family.

"As you can understand, the Holmes family is very upset about all of this," she said. "It's a tragic event and it's taken everyone by surprise. They are definitely trying to work through this."

The family in a written statement said "our hearts go out to those who were involved in this tragedy and to the families and friends of those involved. We ask that the media respect our privacy during this difficult time."

Police in Colorado said Holmes fired into a crowded movie theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora while wearing a gas mask, killing 12 people and wounding 59 others. He was in police custody in Colorado and the FBI said there was no indication the attack was tied to any terrorist groups.

There have been no indications so far that Holmes had any run-ins with the law before Friday. San Diego Superior Court spokeswoman Karen Dalton said there were no records found under his name, not even for a traffic ticket. Riverside County prosecutors also have no criminal record for him, said John Hall, a spokesman for the district attorney's office.

A furniture mover who lives several blocks from the suspect's Aurora apartment building said he shared a beer with him Tuesday at a neighborhood bar where they talked about Denver Bronco Peyton Manning.

Jackie Mitchell said he recognized Holmes' photo on television as the guy he met at the bar. He described him as smart with a "swagger."

"We just talked about football. He had a backpack and geeky classes and seemed like a real intelligent guy and I figured he was one of the college students," he said.

There was no reference made to a planned shooting, Mitchell said.

Anthony Mai, a 16-year-old who grew up next door to Holmes, said Holmes largely kept to himself but his behavior was nothing out of the ordinary.

"He felt a little bit concealed, but it wasn't too much. It was alright" he said. "This is just a feeling in my gut, but I felt like he had something, like he was being picked on or something."

His father, Tom Mai, a retired electrical engineer, said he was a "shy guy" who came from a "very, very nice family."

Rose To said the Holmes family set up chairs in their garage for the Christmas party a few years ago, giving neighbors a chance to mingle.

"They were really nice people, good neighbors," she said.

Mai said the mother told him the suspect couldn't find a job after earning a master's degree from a University of California school and so went back for another degree.

Holmes graduated from University of California, Riverside, in the spring of 2010 with a bachelor of science degree in neuroscience, said university spokesman Sean Nealon. No other details were immediately available about his life on campus, Nealon said.

In 2011, Holmes enrolled in the Ph.D. neuroscience program at the University of Colorado-Denver but was in the process of withdrawing, said spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery. University officials earlier said he was a student at the university's medical school.

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1 year ago

Flags lowered to half-staff after movie theater shooting

President Barack Obama today ordered flags be lowered to half-staff nationwide as a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence in Aurora on July 20, 2012.

Gov. John Hickenlooper today also ordered flags be lowered to half-staff on all public buildings statewide until further notice in memory of those killed at the movie theater in Aurora.

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1 year ago

Red Cross health workers head to Aurora after theater shooting

The Red Cross chapter in Denver sent mental health workers to Gateway High School in Aurora, which was set up as an evacuation center for people who were in the movie theater.

The Red Cross also provided food and water to theater patrons as well as emergency responders at the evacuation center.

Red Cross mental health workers have been helping residents in Ft. Collins and Colorado Springs areas affected by wildfire disasters, and are again available to support residents after this shooting.

Marilyn Biggerstaff, a licensed clinical social worker with the Red Cross, says that people may experience a range of emotions after a tragedy such as this.

"People may struggle to understand how something like this could happen," Biggerstaff says. "At a time like this, it's important to ask for support from people close to you, surround yourself with people and activities that comfort you, and be careful not to overexpose yourself to media reports about the tragedy. This is a time to take care of yourself and your family."

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1 year ago

Theater shooting evokes mixed feelings from movie fans

The Dark Knight Rises had the second-highest late night opening of all time, but it remains to be seen what impact the massacare in aurora will have on movie goers.

The movie's studio Warner Bros. canceled the film's Paris premiere, but many local theaters, including Tinseltown in pueblo, are still showing the movie as planned.

The Dark Knight had a huge mega opening raking in some $30 million at the midnight showings. However in light of the Colorado shooting, will movie fans stay home? We heard some mixed opinions today.

"It's scary, it's very scary. It kind of makes you wonder, you know maybe there should be security now at movie theaters," said Melissa, a movie-goer.

"This is just a great movie, it's going to be fun, so we're coming. We're going to enjoy it, I brought my son," said George Lee, a movie-goer.

"I'm mostly nervous the Dark Knight Rises won't live up to the Dark Knight," said Zach, a movie-goer.

The Dark Knight is scheduled to show on more than 6,700 screens worldwide.

In a written statement, Warner Bros. has expressed their "sincere sympathies" to the families and loved ones of victims.

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1 year ago

CSPD gets calls for security after theater shooting

In the wake of the theater shooting in Aurora, the Colorado Springs Police Department has received calls from various movie theaters requesting "off duty" officers. Arrangements are being made at this time to assist them.

Patrol officers are aware of the Aurora shooting and will remain vigilant in their duties to pay attention not only to movie theatres but shopping centers and other places where people tend to socialize.

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1 year ago

Two buildings at Anschutz Medical Campus evacuated after theater shooting

Authorities have now evacuated two buildings at the Anschutz Medical Campus, 12800 E. 19th Avenue. This is where Holmes was a student.

Others students told News 5 Holmes had returned to that campus yesterday, even though he had dropped out of school about a month ago.

Holmes was a doctoral student in neuro sciences.

The buildings under scrutiny are the north and south towers and we are told the ventilation systems in those buildings have been shut down.

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1 year ago

Theater shooting suspect's workplace being evacuated

Both the north and south towers at the research complex at Anschutz Medical Campus(CU Medical Center) on E. 19th Street where theater shooting suspect James Holmes worked are being evacuated.

News 5 has a crew there and we'll bring you more information when we have it.

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1 year ago

Suspect in theater shooting dropped out of school recently

AURORA, Colo. (AP) - The suspect in a mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater dropped out of medical school last month.

Spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery says 24-year-old James Holmes was a student at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver until last month. She did not know when he started school or why he withdrew.

Holmes is accused of killing a dozen people when he fired into a crowded movie theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora. He was wearing a gas mask and set off an unknown gas in the theater.

Holmes is in police custody, and the FBI says there is no indication the attack is tied to any terrorist groups.

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1 year ago

Suspect was well armed during theater shooting

WASHINGTON (AP) - The suspect in the deadly shootings in Colorado had an assault rifle, a shotgun and two pistols.

A federal law enforcement official says the suspect, identified by other federal law enforcement officials as James Holmes, also used a gas canister in the attack in a movie theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora, Colo. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation.

Officials believe Holmes, who was wearing a gas mask during the attack, killed a dozen people when he open fired in the crowded theater.

Investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along with other local, state and federal law enforcement officials, are investigating the overnight attack.

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1 year ago

Theater shooting survivor in his own words

Christopher Ramos and his sister were in Theater 9 of the Century 16 Cinema at the Town Center Mall in Aurora during the mass shooting Friday. He recounts the ordeal here beginning when suspect James Holmes entered through an emergency exit near the front of the theater.

"Like the right door opens up and someone throws something towards the crowd. At first I thought it was part of the movie because from the shadows it kind of looked like a bat, so I thought they were promoting the Batman movie or something.

"The guy that's actually sitting right next to me, he ends up getting shot, that's when I actually realized this is not part of the movie. Somehow out of pure instinct I grabbed my sister and I tackled her and pushed her down on the ground.

"People were like hiding, people were like getting shot at, people were like trying to like run, like jumping out of chairs, running on top of people like just pure instinct trying to survive and like get out of there. It was compete chaos, it was a complete mess.

"He was only shooting for like a minute or two but it felt like it was a really, really long time, and by the time he was actually done shooting he actually, gradually just walked, started walking up toward the theater like nothing happened.

"No matter what people say, they're never going to truly understand what me and everyone else in that theater went through.

"I feel like now that I should live my life and do all the things I want to do for those people that didn't make it."

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1 year ago

Governor Hickenlooper on Aurora theater shooting

Gov. John Hickenlooper released this statement today in response to the shooting overnight at the Aurora movie theater:

"This is not only an act of extreme violence, it is also an act of depravity. It is beyond the power of words to fully express our sorrow this morning. Our prayers and condolences go first to the families of those killed, and we share the grief of everyone affected by this senseless event. We appreciate the swift work by local, state and federal law enforcement. Coloradans have a remarkable ability to support one another in times of crisis. This one of those times."

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1 year ago

Moments of terror and grief following Aurora theater shooting

Jacob King was with his friends at the Town Center Mall in Aurora when around 12:30 Friday morning they decided to hangout in the theater lobby.

"That's when I heard a loud explosion and that's when either a pipe bomb or tear gas or whatever went off," King said.

A gunman, later identified as 24 year old James Holmes, had entered an emergency exit to theater number 9 and opened fire. King saw the victims pouring out of the lobby.

"That's when I started seeing people that had blood on their shirts, blood on their faces."
He says the wounded were lined up on the sidewalk outside of the theater as officers rushed in.

Not knowing yet whether Holmes had acted alone, dozens of heavily armed officers and police dogs searched the mall.

By daybreak, the moviegoers had been evacuated to an emergency shelter at Gateway High School. It's there that family members, some overwhelmed with grief, learned the fate of their loved ones.

Miguel Corral and Darius Jenardy came to the high school to check on their friend Jose, one of several friends at the theater. They learned he was okay, but the news of what happened is still hard to take.

"It's hard to believe that because, I mean the least place you would expect it is at a movie theater," Corral said.

"It's the 2nd worst thing since Columbine," Jenardy said. "I don't know how he got in to the theater when it's surrounded by police most of the time I just don't know how it happened."

For King and the others who lived through the ordeal, it's been hard to escape the shock of what happened.

"It was pretty shocking, I've never seen really, nothing like that."

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1 year ago

After theater shooting, Pueblo theater continues "Dark Knight" showings as planned

Pueblo's only movie theater will operate as scheduled in wake of a deadly shooting at a movie theater in Aurora. Tinseltown USA says all 17 showings of The Dark Knight Rises will run as scheduled today. "Everything is proceeding as normal," a Tinseltown employee told News 5.

Pueblo police are watching the coverage of the shooting in Aurora, but at this time don't plan any extra patrols around the theater. "We haven't discussed doing anything out of the ordinary," said Capt. Tom Rummel, with the Pueblo Police Department. "Officers I'm sure will take it upon themselves to make routine passes up there," he added.

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1 year ago

President Obama says he is "shocked and saddened" by theater shooting

MANALAPAN, Fla. (AP) - President Barack Obama says he is "shocked and saddened" by a deadly shooting at a suburban Denver movie theater. He is urging the nation to "come together as one American family."

Obama says he and first lady Michelle Obama were shocked by the "horrific and tragic" shooting. Obama says his administration will do everything they can to support the people of Aurora, Colo.

A gunman opened fire shortly after midnight local time at a theater on the opening night of the latest Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises." Authorities say 12 people were killed and at least 50 others were injured.

Obama was in Florida at the time of the shooting. The White House says Obama was informed of the shooting by his Homeland Security Advisor, John Brennan, at 5:26 a.m. EDT.

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1 year ago

Officers cautiously search suspect's apartment in theater shooting

AURORA, Colo. (AP) - FBI agents and police used a hook and ladder fire truck to reach the Denver suburb apartment window of the suspect in a mass shooting at a movie theater.

They put a camera at the end of 12-foot pole inside the apartment and were watching footage Friday morning of what the camera saw on a small television screen.

Television video showed an officer in a helmet and vest atop the fire truck boom smashing the window of the third-floor apartment where 24-year-old James Holmes lives.

He's in custody and the FBI says there's no indication the shooting is tied to any terrorist groups.

The apartment is about four miles from the theater where at least 12 people were killed and 50 were wounded.

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1 year ago

UPDATED: Police say theater shooting suspect's apartment booby trapped

Police say the apartment of the suspect in a mass shooting at a Denver area movie theater is booby trapped, so they've evacuated five surrounding buildings.

Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates says bomb technicians are determining how to disarm flammable or explosive material in the third-floor apartment. "We could be here for hours or we could be here for days," said Oates.

Oates says pictures from inside the apartment are fairly disturbing and the devices look to be sophisticated.

FBI agents and police used a hook and ladder fire truck and put a camera at the end of 12-foot pole inside the apartment where 24-year-old James Holmes lives.

The apartment is about four miles from the theater where at least 12 people were killed and 50 were wounded.

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1 year ago

Police say theater shooting suspect's apartment is booby-trapped

Aurora Police Chief say Colorado movie theater suspect's apartment is booby-trapped and area evacuated. James Holmes is suspected of opening fire on a crowded theater for the premiere of the Dark Knight Rises at a movie theater in Aurora. Police confirm at least 12 people were killed.

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1 year ago

Paris premiere of new Batman movie canceled after theater shooting

The Paris premiere of the new Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" has been canceled after a gunman killed 12 people at a Colorado opening of the same film.

Workers were pulling down the red carpet display in front of a movie theater on the French capital's famed Champs-Elysees Avenue on Friday afternoon. Some could be seen carrying away a large mask that had adorned the facade of the theater.

The night before in a Denver suburb, a man wearing a gas mask released an unknown gas into a crowded movie theater and opened fire. Twelve people were killed and at least 50 wounded. The shooter, a man in his 20s, has been arrested. The FBI says there is no indication so far of any links to terror groups.

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1 year ago

President Obama address Aurora theater shooting

President Obama says he is "shocked and saddened" by the "horrific and tragic" shooting at the Aurora movie theater.

At least 15 people were killed, another 50 wounded.

University hospital reports that the youngest patient is three months old. No word on severity of injuries.

One hospital in Denver says they have seen 20 victims, 9 of which are critical.

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1 year ago

UPDATE: youngest victim of theater shooting only 6 years old

The youngest victim of a shooting at an Aurora movie theater was a 6 year old child, according to NBC News. We're hearing reports that the child is only injured, and not among the deceased.

The mass shooting that killed 15 and injured 50 others took place at Century 16 theatre at a midnight showing of Dark Knight Rises. Authorities say at least 100 FBI agents are working with local police on the investigation. According to NBC News, the FBI is treating this as an "active shooter investigation", and do not believe it is connected to terrorism.

Authorities say they found the shooter at the back of the theatre with a gas mask, a rifle, and a handgun. Another weapon was found later in the suspect's car. They say there is no reason to believe anyone else was involved. That suspect is in custody.

Authorities say a SWAT team was also deployed to a nearby apartment complex, where the suspect may reside. They say police evacuated the entire building after the suspect alluded to explosives at the residence.

President Obama has been notified of the incident by the director of Homeland Security.

A thorough press briefing will give us more information at 11 AM this morning. Stay with News 5 for continuous coverage.

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1 year ago

UPDATE: 14 dead, 50 hurt in theatre shooting

Aurora Police Chief says 10 people dead at the theater, 4 more died at hospital. At least 50 people are injured.

Police say the shooter acted alone and is now in custody.

Authorities evacuated nearby apartment complex after shooter told police he had explosive devices in his home.

Uninjured people have been taken to a local high school to meet reconnect with family.

The parking lot is completely sealed off, but the area is secure at this time.

1 year ago

At least 10 dead, 20 hurt in shooting at Aurora movie theatre

At least 10 people are dead and 20 people are hurt at a shooting in an Aurora movie theatre, officials say.

The shooting occurred after midnight during the "Dark Knight Rises" midnight movie showing in the Century 16 movie theatre at the Aurora Mall. Initial reports say multiple ambulances were on scene, and police were transporting victims to area hospitals in squad cars as well.

A bomb squad was also on scene after reports of a bomb in the area.

NBC News reports police have one suspect in custody, but it is unknown if more are involved. We are awaiting confirmation from authorities on scene of number of people dead or injured.

Stay tuned to News 5 for more updates throughout the morning, as well as News 5 Today for live team coverage.

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KOAA Theater Shooting Videos